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Storm and sun

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Maria Victoria Rufino

Beyond Brushstrokes

Dense gray clouds block small plane’s descent to the island. Droplets spray and splatter on the windshield. On the runway, the breeze blows stronger and the wind sock spins in different directions. The storm approaches. Mixed news reports announce that the typhoon would pass over the neighboring islands.

Visibility is 10 feet. One holds on as the wheels thump and roll on the slippery runway. A safe landing.

Not too long ago, the pilot of a large plane had circled twice and attempted to land. It skidded past the front edge in a gentle but shaky dive. The plane’s nose got wrecked. Nobody was injured but it was a risky maneuver.

The skies are slate and charcoal. The sun remains obscure for days. The moon and stars are veiled. The wind howls over the little stone-washed houses with blue rooftops. The coconut trees shudder. The flailing branches of old trees are shorn of leaves. Along the beach, palm fronds are torn like ribbons.

The yellow birds and blue jays flee and seek shelter in the mystical banyan forest. The fireflies are invisible among the bushes.

The angry waves rush to shore and the tide rises quickly. The rains pour like a waterfall, splashing on the sea and pounding on the thatched roofs.

The morning clouds finally part as the pale sun reluctantly appears. The sea is calm like a mirror reflecting the blue sky.

One remembers another breathtaking beach of long ago.

The hiker took tentative steps on the craggy cliff. The heaving sea, azure blue with white caps tossed a banca and a sailboat. Powder puff clouds drifted across the sky.

After a storm, driftwood washed ashore. The high tide claimed the shells and swept over the stepping stones and pebbles. The shore has been reclaimed, in part, by the ocean. The magnetic pull caused by a tsunami in Asia.

This rustic beach has been the seaside refuge for many years.

Déjà vu. It seems nothing has changed yet everything is different. The changes are both external and internal.

The rolling waves crashed and splashed into millions of bubbles against the rocks. A seagull soared and dipped like a wayward kite.

A generation of fearless kids once scampered up and jumped from the cliff into the chilly cerulean water below. They swam into the grotto and played hide and seek in the cave. Their carefree laughter magnified into deafening echoes.

Those kids have their own children who claim the right to jump into the same spot. The adults now caution them about the rocks and the sudden swells.

Where did all their sense of playful adventure and fun go? Their mischievous streak has vanished as they grew up and grew older.

Perched on the side of the cliff, the pilgrim marveled as the Divine Hand took a giant brush and palette to paint the sky. The canvas was splattered with impressionistic dots and strong, energetic brushstrokes. A marvelous breathtaking work in progress.

The golden orb began its solemn descent into a hazy horizon. Streaks of copper and rust rippled on the water as the sky turned into shades of peach, orange, magenta, crimson and lavender.

The fresh salty air was heady — a cocktail of oxygen and the fragrance of wet grass and wild flowers. The heart feels a familiar sharp sting, a tight tug. The minutes ticked ever so slowly as the sun vanished while the full moon rose from behind. The phenomenon of a simultaneous spectacle of sunset and moonrise. It was a splendid synchronicity in nature.

Twilight turned the sky into a velvet backdrop. The evening star twinkled close to the moon. The planets and stars aligned into constellations.

The luminous moon ascended and bathed the scene with a silvery sheen. The radiance of reflection was gentle and soothing to the heart.

In the mind’s eye, there are impression and images of awesome sunsets, the dramatic moonrises, starry evening skies with shooting stars on the windswept cliffs.

More than a decade ago, there was once a colorful home on another cliff. It had huge garden murals of the moods of the sea and sunsets. One day, the vibrant walls were suddenly defaced and covered. The colors vanished as the resident artist disappeared.

Creative energy is never lost. Art remains alive in the imagination and memory. Those divinely inspired paintings will be reborn in another medium, a new form.

After every storm, there is always a translucent rainbow. Life goes on.

Maria Victoria Rufino is an artist, writer and businesswoman. She is president and executive producer of Maverick Productions.

mavrufino@gmail.com

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